Archive for May, 2010

Food Connect

Here are some more pictures of my food connect orders.

As you can see the produce in the Gourmet Boxes varies from week to week.

I love all the colours and finding out what’s inside each week.

Othello (our fluffy black cat) likes to snif the box when I bring it home and tries to jump inside. Since he’s had a thing for destroying cardboard boxes lately I have to put the box away quickly so I can bring it back to be re-used. Not sure if boxes with cat bite marks would be welcome haha.

I’ve been learning to use up produce I think will spoil quickest first, then move onto the other items. I am ashamed to admit that I have wasted a few things due to poor planning and forgetting that it was in my fridge or in the pantry. Food wastage makes me feel incredibly guilty. I’ve started giving away half my box to mum and a workmate until this set of boxes run out and I can make some adjustments to suit our eating habits a bit better.

Food Art

Picked up these lovely prints from Renee Anne at

I love this “Shop Local, Ride More, Eat Organic” print especially. I try to shop locally and eat organic as much as possible. The bike riding I’ll leave to hubby since he’s the one with the bike.

I also ordered 4 other prints, which are individual prints of the elements of this print.

The ones I have ordered are a little bit different. I’ll post a picture once I get them have put them on the wall.

I’m at the International Incident Dumpling Party

Did I just see the word “dumpling” flash across my twitter feed? Right next to the word “party”?

It’s the May International Incident and I am fashionably late for the Dumpling Party (sorry @jeroxie).

So my plan was to make my own dumpling skin, which I would have done if I wasn’t so ill-prepared. I have made them before when Froggy came over for a day of making dumplings. She has since stolen my dumpling recipe book which after a year I gave up hope of ever seeing again and so I bought another one (and now have  mis-placed it or let someone else borrow it). So problem #1: no recipe. Internetting will solve that.

Then I realise I don’t have the right flour, problem #2.

Also I’m already 2 days late in making these things and hungry and a little bit lazy, problem #3.

Solution: store bought wonton wrappers.

So a sudden wave of genius hit me and these are the types of dumplings I decided to make.

Wait for it…

1. Red curry with duck and lychee dumplings

2. Chicken dumplings…. given the katsu treatment! Yes, Chicken Dumpling Katsu.

I have to admit, they tasted pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. The spicy curried bits of duck mixed with the sweet lychee. Oh and every time I had a little fatty bit of duck I was in heaven.

Don’t even get me started on the Katsu’d dumplings. I’ll say it again, why have I never thought of this before? Crispy pillows of dumpling skin with juicy chicken inside. Don’t forget the Japanese mayo!

Red curry with duck and lychee dumplings

For the red curry dumplings, I drew inspiration from the Spirit House red curry with duck and lychee recipe.

Red Curry Paste (recipe from Spirit House Thai Cooking – Helen Brierty and Annette Fear)

This will make about 2 cups of paste. What you don’t use for dumplings, use in a curry and don’t share it with anyone unless you really love them.

15 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons coriander root, chopped
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, roasted
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted
2 teaspoons white peppercorns
2 small red onions
12 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemon grass, finely sliced
1 tablespoon galangal, chopped
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons shrimp paste, roasted

*Hint* If you are either lazy or not very good at finely chopping things (eg. ginger, galangal) just use a grater or zester.

Soak chillies in hot water for 30 minutes. Remove from water and chop finely. In a mortar, grind the coriander root and seeds, cumin and white peppercorns. Add remaining ingredients and pound to a smooth paste. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in refrigerator. Keeps for 2-3 weeks.

Red Curry Duck and Lychee Dumplings

Makes approx 16

1 duck breast*
1 tablespoon red curry paste
5 lychees (tinned is fine)
2 tablespoons coconut cream *approximately, I forgot to measure
Dumpling skins (yellow wonton ones used this time)

water to seal dumplings

*You could probably just use meat from a chinese roast duck and it would be fine. I bought a duck breast to use this time.

In a hot pan place duck breast, skin side down and let the fat render off for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then turn the duck breast over and cook for another minute on the other side.

Remove from pan and cut into little cubes/pieces roughly half to 1 cm big. Smaller is better.

Put duck meat into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of red curry paste and mix till well coated. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Cut lychees into small pieces (about the same size as the duck).

Put marinated duck meat into a heated pan and add the coconut cream. Stir and cook until almost done. Add lychees and stir. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Put about 1 generous teaspoon of filling into each dumpling skin and wrap into whatever shape you care for, remember to seal with water and try to have as little air inside as possible (a few of my dumplings fell apart in the water).

I made a simple soup to cook some instant noodles, bok choy and the dumplings in. This was adapted from the soup recipe for the pork and crab wonton soup recipe in the Spirit House Thai Cooking book.

1 cup chicken stock (You can use all chicken stock, or more stock if you want a stronger flavoured soup)
1 litre of water
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons  fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon palm sugar
Splash of lychee juice from the tin of lychees (because I felt like it)
1 teaspoon of chicken stock powder (when I realised I had made it too sweet with the lychee juice hehe)

Combine ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil.

Add dumplings and cook for about 5 minutes.

You can also add vegetables or noodles to the soup at the same time.


Chicken Dumpling Katsu

Why have I never tried this before? Combined the awesomeness of dumplings with the fantastical art of deep frying?

Makes 16

2 chicken thighs*
2 tsp salt
2 or 3 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves of minced garlic will also work)
1 tsp white pepper

Dumpling skin (yellow wonton skin)
1 egg beaten
1 cup panko crumbs
1 litre of oil – or enough to deep fry them in a pan or wok.

Japanese mayo to serve
Katsu sauce optional

You can use chicken mince instead, or even pork mince. I was using what I had. Mince would have been MUCH easier.

Cut chicken thighs into tiny pieces (smaller than 1cm cubes), essentially I was trying to mince it, hence using mince would have been smarter. Although I can never seem to find organic chicken mince so maybe this was better *end rant*.

Mix chicken with salt, garlic powder and white pepper. My measurements are approximate, I’m quite liberal with the seasoning.

Fry chicken in a pan with only a little oil if required, till either cooked or almost cooked. *I get quite paranoid that chicken won’t be cooked properly, especially in things like dumplings where I can’t see the chicken during cooking which is why I pre-cooked the filling.

Remove chicken from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Put about 1 heaped teaspoon of filling into each dumpling skin. Fold/seal into a shape that is quite flat, either triangle or rectangle. This will make it easier to coat in panko crumbs and fry.

Coat dumplings in the beaten egg. Then coat dumplings in panko crumbs, pressing down lightly to make sure the crumbs have stuck.

Heat oil in pan. Once the oil is ready, add dumplings to the pan and cook until golden. You may have to turn the dumplings to make sure both sides are cooked. My dumplings had air in them and they puffed up into little pillows and floated to the surface so I needed to make sure I turned them over.

Drain on paper towel.

Serve with Japanese mayo and katsu sauce and EAT!

I had lots of fun doing this, I can’t wait for the next International Incident Party! :D

Original Invite to the Dumpling Party:

The round up: